Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I read this post about cutting and I have to say he's wrong. I don't like pictures of people who cut, not because of the cutting or the person, but because I always have a vasovagal_response to the sight of blood, surgeries, body parts, etc, and seeing cutting initiates the response, even in photos.

But that's not my point, which is I won't say anything until I've read the purpose of the pictures, especially if they're pictures of the person posting the cutting on their body. Anyone who just automatically criticizes these picture, like this guy, needs to understand first.

Openly criticizing what people do when you don't have any knowledge or experience on the subject, like cutting, aneroxia, bulimia, obseity, transgenderism, etc., only shows your arrogance and ignorance of people with their experiences.

People like this guy should stop before posting such words and take a breath to think about the consequences and the effects of your words. He's entitled to his opinion on his blog, but then we're entitled to call him out on it.

He tries to qualify it, but then who is he to decide which pictures are "fashionable and trendy", and what people deserve, "seriously fuck you", as a reply. Did he learn about the pictures, learn about the people in the pictures, learn about the life situation or conditions of those people?

He tried again when someone pointed he was souding "morally superior", and he said if he knows the person posting doesn't cut, then it's wrong. No, it's not. It could be a friend, someone who cares, or someone who knows from past personal experiences themselves or friends.

I won't argue some post because it's "cool" which it isn't, but to make a blanket statement without qualifying it or phrasing it better is wrong, even if it is his opinion. An opinion can be wrong and a wrong opinion has to be called out.

Does he know anything about cutting? If he does, he sure doesn't show it, because if he did, then he wouldn't have said what he did. It's called compassion and understanding. What's not to learn first and then help if it's appropriate.

Stupid criticism isn't help. It's as noted, moral superiority, and nothing more disguised as opinion.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Grover Norquist

Dear Republicans,

What don't you understand that when you took your oath of office as a Representative in the US House of Representatives, it was to the United States of America, to the American people?

You didn't take an oath to Grover Norquist! You took it to this country and us! What don't you get?

Grow up and be an adult and a member of the US House of Representatives. That's why it's an oath to America and Americans, not political allegiance to Grover Norquist.

Remember we pay your salary. We pay your benefits. We pay for your office and staff. We pay for your travel costs. We pay for your perdiem on trips. We pay for you. Grover Norquist doesn't.

So, to put it simply, get your political head out of your political ass and stand up for America and the American people. Or else face our right to vote you ass out of office in 2014. You do want to stay in office don't you?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

That Word

Apologies for the folks who don't like frank words. It's my blog, just ignore the rest of this post if you want.

To women,

When a man uses the word, "fuck" when talking to you, it's not about what they say, it's about what they want to do to you, figuratively, meaning your life, job, friends, etc., or more often, literally, meaning they want to fuck you and your choice in the matter isn't an issue.

So when they talk to use and use that word, walk away, because at some time, they will act on their thoughts, and the longer you stay and listen to them or the more often they talk to you, the more they want to act on it. And while you will get trash talk from men if you walk away, it will be less than if you stayed and listen.

But it's really in the end, do you respect a man who uses that word with you? So why do you listen to them?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tumblr Users

Update.-- see new suggestions in blue (this color) below.

To the folks who have Tumblr Websites, I have a few suggestions when you set the preferences for your display and presentation of your post, blogs and reblogs. I've mentioned this before somewhere else but I want to emphasize it here.

First, a simple thing, enable horizontal scroll so people don't have to resize their browser window to get the full view of your Tumblr site and use the links often on the left or right edges. There's a reason for this suggestion.

Many folks like me use a fixed size browser window, often useful for Web page designers and developers, yeah like me. I use a 900x1024 (width x height) pixel window to design my Web pages for a 800x1024 browser size and a 600x900 content size.

This is a more traditional size for reading documents, newspapers, etc., and still often used by newspaper and magazine Websites. It's a carryover from the print tradition based on the normal reader's vision. It works.

So without horizontal scrolling I have to readjust to a wider Web page(s) display. I keep a white 900x1024 image file on my Website to adjust back, but it's an annoyance which is easily fixed when the person with the Tumblr Website enables the horizontal scroll.

Second, some like the endless vertical display, which his handy if you want everything in one page and the visitor can simply scroll up and down. I'm ok with it, except it slows loading sometimes when there is a lot of content and the visior has reached the bottom and has to wait while the next page(s) to load.

But my point isn't that, it's when you click on one entry which often goes to a new page, and once you've seen or read it you click back to the main Web page. Can you please set the preference to remember where the visitor left the main page.

This is important if the visitor has scrolled down a lot of pages and clicking back put them at the top or beginning agan, and they have to rescroll again to the place they were. This doesn't last long as the visitor often just says, "Screw it", and leaves.

The visitor can help sometimes on Mac's by using the Command Key and click the link which should open the link in a new tab, saving their place on the main Web page, but only if the Tumblr user sets the links to open in a new tab or Web page and not the same page.

If you don't set it, then they go to the page to return, and yes, back to the top of the main Web page again if it wasn't set to remember where the visitor left the main page.

If you don't know what this is Tumblr users, it's called user-friendly navigation. It's designed to help the user through your Website. It's old stuff to Website developers. If you don't get it, try using your own Tumblr Website which always has been a Website developer's rule, always test drive your own work.

Third is not about design but about content. Why reblog something if you don't add to the post? Reblogging doesn't do anything but expand your own readership, and even if you like it, why not add something so the visitor actually knows why you reblogged it.

In other words, express some intelligence about the post than simply posting it leaving the visitor to wonder why or what you think about it. It's like putting it in front of you and saying, "So what do you think?", and you don't saying anything.

It's like, "What, you don't have an opinon on why you saved (reblogged) something for us to see, hear or read? You just put it there for no reason?" Come on, put some thought into it, tell us why, what, anything than nothing.

At least some post a notice in their "About Me" section they post things they see and like, but even that is a cop out to avoid saying anything specific, or more than just an assumption you like it, even if sometimes I wonder if that's your taste, wow, have you seen a therapist about your problem?

Ok, kidding. Tumblr is for thinking out loud and put whatever strikes one's fancy for the moment. But why not at least say what the thought was behind posting it. Is that too much to ask from visitors, like are you real to tell us why you liked it and reblogged it?

Fourth, don't hide your images. First of all they are not your images, you reblogged them, or most of them since few Tumblr pages have original images or photos, but you can't really hide them by disabling the right click mouse control.

All images or photos are single file format with unique names, it's easy to find them in the HTML code any browser can display and search for the .png or .jpg file of the image. Also there are third party apps which identify the URL for each component in a Web page, including images where you can cut and past the URL into browser and get the image to save.

Trying to hide downloading an image isn't doing anything about copyrights or ownership, you likely stole it to reblog it, so why hide it on your Tumblr blog?

Fifth, please when you post some fashion clothes, can you include the source, or at least links where you found it so people can actually research who makes the item, who sells it and if it's availble? If you thinks it's so cool to reblog, why not share where we can find it?

That's it for now. I'll add more frustrations, er. suggestions, when I run into them.

Removing App Store Apps

Update.--Well, I got a response from Apple which didn't exactly please me for the choices they give, meaning either download the update, and risk the files with your current (latest) version or remove the old one from the Applications folder and it should revert to "Download" instead of "Update", but this last choice didn't work.

I found another solution on a Website which suggested holding the Option key while hitting the "Update" button and it will either change to "Download" or "Installed", and in this case the latter, and since it's the last update the company sent to the App store (the latest version doesn't comply with Apple's rules for applications), it shouldn't show an update anymore.

So it's solved for now, but it doesn't change my suggestion to Apple to allow users to remove apps from their account. If Apple can do it, then customers should equally be able to do it since it's their account.

I've been in a "conversation" with folks at the Apple App store about removing some applications I bought but have transferred from the App Store to the particular software company and their Website. I want to remove the apps from my account for a variety of reasons.

In some cases the software company decided to promote and sell their applications through their Website with the latest version and either being to slow to update or not updating the App Store with newer versions.

In some cases the software company decided just to freeze, meaning no longer update, the app in the App store because their newer version don't comply with Apple's new sandbox or other rules for applications.

In some cases the software company offers subscriptions, enchancements or additional parts to applications which isn't allowed through the App store, so they offer those versions through their Website while offering the "lite" version on the App store.

In any event I've transferred three apps in the App store, but my account shows only two, which is my beef with Apple about users and applications in their accounts. If Apple can remove apps from users' account because the company left the App store altogether, then why can't users do the same themselves?

I want to remove the two apps I've hidden. One keeps telling me there's an update but the App store version is two versions behind, one is an update to that version and one is an upgrade to a new generation of the software, both only offered through the company's Website.

Both of these versions don't comply with Apple's rules for OS-X 10.8, hence just leaving the last version there for OS-X 10.7 users. I updated to the 10.8 version and then upgraded to the new generation of the software.

And that's my complaint and question. Why can't I simply remove them since I no longer want them in my account? Why can't Apple let users remove applications from their account or at least provide a service to request it be removed by Apple?

If Apple can remove apps from users' account, why can't we?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Comcast Update

Well, last night I got a call from one of the audio technician or engineers, I don't know which and it really doesn't matter since the guy was smart about the audio signals and the RNG150N cable box with the digital coaxial and optical outputs.

Anyway, the jest of the conversation was that I had tested everything correctly to determine something between the cable box audio outputs and the Rotel digital-to-analog converter wasn't working and since the Rotel has worked with two DAT decks and two CD-R/RW players and currently works with a DVD-RW on either input/output using the same cable I used with cable box, the problem is with the box.

He gave me something to look at in the menu settings, one of those which isn't in the main user setup and you need the secret handshake to get into it, but he doubted there is anything to which is the source of the problem, since the box autodetects its digital or optical outputs to other inputs.

While there are differences in audio digital, which has more to do with the signal frequency all stereo equipment auto detects, and none in optical output, the box should still produce a standard audio signal for other audio equipment. There's nothing unique about the audio output.

But he did confirm something I found doing some research and something I knew from previous cable box audio output. The first issue is that there are a number of companies making the RNG150N cable box, all different, which is the second issue, the software.

Comcast uses a standard software. The earlier versions were developed by Microsoft (MS), which was the source of the previous problem with the audio signal, that an other bugs, but then it's MS software and who expect good software from them ;).

The problem may be the current version of the software may not work the same on all the different RNG150N boxes. This may be why it doesn't recognize formatting the channel display (info button), schedule guide and the user menu in HD on HD channels the old box did display.

So the plan is to run the tests again looking at the hidden menu, and if nothing works, to schedule a technician with the test equipment to check the audio digital and optical of the box, and replace it if necessary.

And I have to note it is a good thing Comcast called. I will give them kudos for their service on this problem. They clearly went out of their way since past exchanges with them over similar and the same problem went nowhere fast.

This is a real change, thanks.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Really Comcast III

Well, after the long sorting out of the problems with the digital coaxial and optical audio outputs from the Comcast cable box, a Dolby Digital Labs RNG150N model (made by a number of companies for Xfinity), I wrote the e-mail address suggested in their comment to my post, see Really Comcast II.

I got an automated response to the e-mail but I got a call on my voice mail at home (sorry I was at the dentist). They said the two digital coaxial and optical outputs auto detect connections to open the signal to the output from the cable box.

Well, the outputs are going into a Rotel Digital-to-Analog (D-A) converter. I tested the cables using my DVD-RW's digital coaxial and optical outputs to the D-A converter to the Rotel pre-amplifier, and they work perfectly.

The goal is to use the analog output from the cable box to the DVD-RW for recording since the TV has the audio signal with the HDMI signal using the HDMI-to-DVI cable (it's a 6-year old plasma TV), and use the digital signal from the cable box to the D-A converter to the pre-amp.

I did something similar with the DAT decks and CD-R/RW's to a Hafler pre-amp I had which had fewer analog inputs. The Rotel pre-amp has 10 analog inputs, 9 used with the 10th for a signal processor which I don't have, so it handles all the analog inputs.

But when I wanted to add the cable box and DVD-RW I had one to many for the pre-amp, hence using the D-A converter for its single analog output to the one input on the pre-amp. The old cable box didn't have the digital output to work. The new one does, or so goes the plan.

But the cable box produces 2-3 seconds of buzzing and then silence and the optical output produces nothing but silence. So, as the phone message suggests, it's likely the cable box and to schedule a service techician who has the test equipment for the digital coaxial and optical output from the box, and replace it if it doesn't work.

Gee, a brand new cable box and it doesn't work? I'm impressed. The technician tested the line into the cable box, which I thought may have been part of the problems with connections, and that checked out fine, but didn't check the audio outputs except with the TV signal.

As for the software to the TV through the new box, I'm not impressed. With the old cable box the On-Demand was in non-HD format on the TV but the guide and user's menu were in HD format on a HD channel. The new box doesn't distinguish between channels and displays the guide and user's menu in non-HD format, which on a HD channel is big.

So the plan is to play with it again over the weekend or next week after the holiday and then call for a service technician to check out the problem with the box. I can have everything ready to prove my case the outputs don't work properly.

Anyway, that's it from here. I feel better about Comcast's service, but maybe the technician should thoroughly check boxes before leaving? Or ask if the digital outputs will be used to ensure they work? I'll keep you posted when things are finally working.

Monday, November 19, 2012

LF Lenses for Sale

I'm still on my break for health reasons, and I'm still working on photos of the lenses, cameras and peripheal equipment with my Minolta manual focus system, but I've decided to sell three large format lenses, used with 4x5 and larger cameras.

These lenses are as follows:

Schneider Super Angulon 90mm f5.6
Schneider APO-Symmar 180mm f5.6
Schneider Symmar-S 300mm f5.6

I'll be posting photos and descriptions soon but the lenses are in like new condition. They haven't been used since I bought because the 4x5 camera I had planned to use them won't happen and they don't fit the 4x5 camera I have now.

I currently use a Horseman HD camera which is an excellent basic field camera but has limitations on the focal length and size of the lenses which fit it, namely 120mm to about 240mm and only Copal 0 and 1 shutters, not a 3 shutter.

You can google these lenses for more information. As for their value and initial sale price, it's fair to say all three will start at $600 for the 90mm, $800 for the 180mm, and $1,000 for the 300mm lens, shipping within the US included.

You can e-mail me if you have any questions or have interest to buy any of them. I'm open to fair offers. You will find more information and photos on my photography gear blog when they are available.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Really Comcast II

Update II.-- Doing some homework this afternon it appears there is a setting I can't find. It has to do with switching the audio output from the HDMI to the SPDIF outputs. I'm open to suggestion until I call Comcast service center.

Update.--Well, this morning I decided to see if I could get either the optical or coaxial digital audio output to work with my Rotel digital-to-analog converter. It's a standard audiophile converter I've used on an array of audio gear without any problems.

I got the Sony DVD-RW (yeah, I'm an oldie with this because it predates Blue-Ray players and cable DVR's) to work on both the optical and coaxial outputs to the converter input, which in turn is connected through analog outputs to the pre-amp.

But the Comcast cable box doesn't work. This was a problem years ago with the old cable box their engineers admitted it was the software developed for Comcast by Microsoft. It appears the problems still persists or some setting isn't right.

The coaxial output produces about 2-3 seconds of noise then silence and the optical is just silence. This is the same results I had then which I showed the tecnicians who then told me what the engineers said, it was the software.

So, it's back to Comcast again with the problem. Any bets on the answer?

Original Post.--Well, I got a new cable box, the newest model. It's less than a quarter of the size of the old one and even has some additional outputs. They apparently don't really troubleshoot cable boxes, especially old ones, they just replace them.

Well, all the new cable boxes now only come with HDMI connectors for HD TV, and my TV has a DVI connector (it's a late 2006 plasma TV). I had already bought a HDMI->DVI cable because I had the box replaced about 3 years ago but they used a newer old model with a DVI connector.

I also planned to buy a new TV, still do but it's in the budget buried under other things, and all new TV's come with HDMI connections, no DVI. So in the end it was just a straight replacement of the old one for the new one.

Well, the new one, being smaller, doesn't have a front panel or a front display out side of 3 lights and the on/off button/light. This means it communicates through the remote. Good luck if the remote doesn't work or you forget to replace the batteries and you can't get the box to do anything.

I noticed the new box doesn't display the menu and channel guide in the HD format when on a HD channel. The old box did change the display to match the channel, HD or regular, but the new one doesn't. Not sure if it's the software or something else.

I also still have to check out the audio channels. There's only one analog output and I need three analog inputs, so I'll look at using my digital-to-analog converter with the digital audio outputs on the cable box. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

To Old White Men

To the old white men who are the Republican party, you must remember one thing.

We are a nation of immigrants from our founding to today.

This country was founded on immigrants from Native Amercians 10, 000 years ago, with the Pilgrims 400 years ago and to today where white will be a minority within a generation.

There is no one who can call themselves native to North America and the United States when and where their ancesters were a part of the history of man. Even Native Americans crossed the land bridge from Asia and arrived from South America who originated in the Pacific Islands.

No one can claim ownership because of their ancestors. We all own this country because of our ancestors. We all are immigrants because of our ancestors. We all are our ancestors. We are all Americans as was our ancestors who immigrated here.

If you refuse to understand that, I'm sure there's a country somewhere you can sell your bigotry, but not here. You are equal to all of us. It's why it's America and why we're all Americans. Equally.

What a Croc

Sorry, I watched this video by John Green, and I have to say it's a bunch of cow pasture material, the verbal stuff you avoid when hearing someone talk ad naseum about what to do with your life. A bit much maybe?

Well, maybe so in some respects but at about the 3:00 mark he said, "In the end, what you do isn't going to be as interesting or important as who you do it with."

That is the worst bullshit statement in the whole video. What he is saying to all those people who dedicate their life to work they love which involves endless hours working alone, like artists, poets, photographrs, writers, musicians, scientists, philosophers, clergy, etal, is that you are less important than those who just socialize their life away thinking it's important, thinking it's interesting, and thinking it's the true meaning of life.

What he is saying is that socializing with friends is more important than the endless hours JK Rowling spent writing the Harry Potter series. Really? He is saying Albert Einstein, who spent endless hours pondering the universe to write his famous theories, wasted his time when he should have been doing what? And all the symphonies were written by teams or brillant individuals, like Beethoven?

What he is saying is that anyone, myself included, who are comfortable being and working alone to imagine the universe of ideas, to wander and see whatever we want or like, to follow any small thing to the whole array of possibilities, aren't as important or interesting as people who just party because they're doing something with others?

What he is saying is to waste your life socializing than doing what you love when it require endless hours alone with just your own thoughts and your own work.  And that's the fundamental flaw in his advice, it's about wasting time with people than making time for doing something good.

I won't argue there are times and places where working together is the best way to accomplish something, but history has shown many of the best works, best ideas, best science, etc. came from individual endeavors, with only the mininal collaboration.

I won't argue there are times and places individual's achievements needs to be shared and worked together with other people to improve them and make them useful to the world. Aloneness only goes so far with some endeavors, but almost all the arts are produced through individual effort working alone.

I won't argue having worked in teams, even as a team leader, groups can achieve a lot, but in the end, you have to divide the work and everyone go do their part, to collaborate when you need help, want to think out loud, or want to share a thought.

But in the end, I've learned it's always one or a few who do the work for the whole team, many are just there to discuss and decide. Wasted time and space almost all the time. As a team leader I rarely convened the group but let it follow its own direction and worked with all the members to give them the time and space to do their best work.

Because in the end, the best innovation, the best creativity and the best results are almost always by individuals. I restricted the team to the least amount of interference of those people and only when we all needed to be on the same page, reading the same stuff and focus in the same direction to the same goal.

My advice, is simply ignore him and this advice, and if the rest of his shit is similar, then ignore him altogether. Folks like that often just like to spout advice to hear themselves talk and thinking their smart and important. They're not.

My advice is the age old advice, follow your heart and do what you love, and if it means endless hours alone pursuing a dream, an idea, a goal, or wherever it leads you, then do that. And if it means not socializing with friends or just hanging out somewhere, so be it.

Remember life is what you make of it and yourself, not what others tell you, including me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tumblr & Others

Please people, when you create your Website on Tumblr, Blogspot, Wordpress, etc., whichever you choose, do the visitors some courtesy with one thing.

Please enable horizontal scroll

It's really easy to do in the settings with the presentation. This is important because quite a few people set their browser(s) to a specific size and have to resize the window to see the whole Web page(s) and then resize it back when they leave.

For what it's worth, I use 900x1024* (width x height) browser window, and using a wider presentation without scrolling requires I readjust my browser window and unless it's interesting enough to stay, which isn't often, I leave and don't come back.

You can simply solve this if you enable the horizontal scroll with the design settings which will make all visitors happy and want to stay longer and maybe return if your content is worth it. So, please do this for yourself and your Website.
* - I use this size for a specific reason, which I learned from a former newspaper jounrnalist. It has to do with the normal non-peripheral vision where a person's eyes read something without having to change left or right, which is about 600 pixels wide.

So I keep the content within a 600 pixel widith within a 900 pixel width window for margins and borders. It doesn't pay to use a larger browser window with my Website because it will always display in the center within the 900x1024 size.

In addition, a 600 pixel width prints on a 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper without scaling or resizing. Just click print and go, and the Web pages look on paper as they do in the browser window.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Really Comcast?

Last Update.--Alas an answer. This morning the remote and cable box were working normally. What changed? The weather. Overnight the near freezing temperature warmed into the 40's with rain. The problem is that there is a connnection somewhere between the cable going outside and the junction box where condensation or water inside freezes caused intermittent or complete breaks in the communications beween the cable box and the server.

Anyway, for now all is right with the world but if during the next cold weather the problem reappears, I'll call the service representative to let them know to send a technician to check the line for bad connectors.

Update III.-- After rebooting the cable box, it worked for awhile and then didn't, but doing some testing I discovered the front panel controls now work (didn't before) but remote to box doesn't, so either the remote is broken (doubtful) or the box doesn't recognize it, which is likely since the "received" light doesn't blink. So, it's call tomorrow to schedule a service technician.

Update II.-- I finally got a service representative on the telephone, and she did one thing we as customers can't do, which is send the signal for the box to do a complete reboot. This completely clears the schedule and the user interface software, ie, the menu and options. 

It now has to reload everything which takes time and all I have in manual change change with the A/B channel switch button. It takes 8-12+ hours to rebuild the schedule. And I'll have to call tomorrow if the problem is still there to schedule a technician to change the box.

All it all that took about 30 minutes from the time I called, half of which was on hold. The actual time with the service representative was about 3 minutes tops. Wel'll see what happens tomorrow.

Update.-- Comcast's service over the telephone or their Websites is a waste of time. I still have the problem, which cleared up for all but a few minutes after the technician left then returned. The telephone service to get a person is a confusion of menus and options. Their Website requires you have an account (I don't despite being a 20+ years customer) to check for problems in my area. That sucks.

All in all, I've never been impressed with Comcast's service to get a service representative and then an actual service call, and this only proves with the whole array of services they offer, it's worse than before just to get a person to talk to and explain the problem.

Original Post.-- For the third morning in a row, my cable box is stuck on the last channel I watched the night before. It won't recognize my remote, won't recognize the buttons on the box except the on/off button, and just sits there looking stupid.

We've had a cold spell recently and when the problems started and it took well into the late morning or early afternoon when things started to work again, meaning I'm not stuck on one channel and the box and remote worked normally again.

And today is no exception. All I get is ESPN the last channel I watched last night. And so really Comcast, three days of the same problem and it's not fixed?

Yeah, I know some problems are hard to debug and fix, I used to manage and operate a real-time data collection system from the downlink to the computers. It is hard sometimes, but this shouldn't be that hard.

I'll see how long it takes today. I did see a Comcast service truck in th neighborhood. But I'm not holding my breath standing in front of the TV with the remote waiting for this to be fixed, if only for today.

You're not worth it, especially at the prices you charge. As for the problem, any bets about tomorrow?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mr Boehner

Mr Boehner,

What do you plan to say and what do you plan to do if the Democrats and the President decide to do nothing in the lame duck session about the "fiscal cliff" crisis and let all the Bush tax cuts, especially those on the top 2% you are so desparately defending, expire?

What will you tell your supporters, the wealthy, the corporations, and your party? What will you tell the American people, you know the 99%, about your arrogance and obstinance to negotiate and compromise?

What will you tell the media why you are the only one defending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy? Do you really plan to be totally dedicated to the Tea Party wing of your party over the rest of the Republican party?

What will you say when we know just how stupid you are on this issue, how dumb your words are when we know they're just your usual political rhetoric, and the tone and tenor of what you mean is empty and meaningless?

What will you say? But then do you realize there isn't anything you can say we haven't heard, anything you say we know isn't bullshit, and everything you are is just a liar?

Will you then get the message? Or will you continue to be arrogantly ignorant?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fix the App Store

Update (11/9/12).--I would like to see Apple and developers be faster approving updates to apps in the App Store. Sometimes it take weeks, even months, to see the app in the store updates from the announcement of the release by the developer.

Somtimes this isn't critical but many times it is with small fixes with enhancements. And e-mail from the developers often say they sent the updated app in and it's out of their hands and in Apple's hands. So what gives there?

Original Post.--Can Apple please fix the App Store and give owners power over their own accounts, to remove applications they're no longer updating or upgrading through the store, to fix applications which always tells me there's an update when there isn't, and to find a more efficient way, like under Lion, to update OS-X than through the store?

I have two applications I transferred to the Websites of the company because the apps aren't updated or have additional stuff with the application not available through the App Store. The companies moved everything to their Website and transferred the license(s) with receipts.

A third applicaton finally got removed, but only because the company removed it from the App Store so Apple removed it from all the users accounts. That's like someone walking into your home and taking a discontinued product because you bought it from them.

In addition one application always says there is an update, even if I open, close and open the App Store. Something is wrong in the settings for this application I can't fix and there isn't anyone there to help. I don't use this application anymore but hiding it won't fix the problem.

So it would be be nice if Apple wasn't Big Brother over our App Store purchases and give us control we want and paid for when we bought the applications. I don't know of another business that uses the customer model Apple uses with the App Store.

So it no wonder I don't buy applications through the App Store anymore unless the company only sells it through the App store. I'll alway buy it direct from the company if I can. At least I have some control and real people answer the e-mails.

Monday, November 5, 2012


I didn't know there are slow lumens and fast lumens. You know the unit of measure to describe the light bulbs, or as defined, "SI unit flux, equal to the amount of light emitted per second in a unit solid angle of one steradian from a uniform source of one candela."

I wrote the entry about replacing my CFL bulbs with standard incandescent bulbs because the CFL weren't as bright, always took minutes to get up to full power, and the bulbs didn't last more than a year despite promise of years of life.

Well, the incandescent bulbs produce a lot of heat, which is great when it's cold in a small bathroom, but otherwise, it just generates heat. I love the instant on to full power, just not the heat, which is the, "I told you so." response.

So today I bought a 5-pack (4 for the light and a spare) of higher wattage, high power CFL bulbs, the largest which will fit inside the light fixture above the bathroom sink. And sure enough, they're the same, taking a few minutes to get up to full power.

Hence the slow and fast lumens. With CFL bulbs you have to turn them on and go get coffee. The incandescent bulbs were 1080 lumens which is instant. The CFL are 1250 lumens but clearly it takes while before they get up to power.

In the end I'm back to CFL bulbs until they prove to be a poor choice because for the price, $14 for 4 bulbs versus just $4 for 4 incandescent bulbs, and life of the bulbs which isn't a good record for the ones I've been given or bought.

I'm still not enamored with CFL bulbs and LED bulbs are too expensive, and I'm keeping the incandescent in the closet to be reinstalled whenever the CFL bulbs fail to be worth it.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Voting & Racism

Voting for Romney because you dislike, even hate, President Obama, isn't voting, it's racism. You're not voting for the person who's makes or would make a the best President, you're voting for the color of one of the candidate's skin.

Being a mixed race person has proven Obama can do well as President. He didn't meet everyone's expectations not as much because of his effort, but because of Congress, the Republican-controlled House which followed their own agenda and the Senate where the Republican refused to go along with the Democrats.

You can't blame President Obama for Congress and for not getting things done which are the responsibility of Congress. He tried and succeeded where he could. And if the election doesn't change which party controls each body in Congress, then it doesn't matter who's President, either will be just more years of nothing done.

But in the end, your vote is important, so vote, but don't vote because you hate one candidate, especially if hate the color of their skin, if you hate what you falsely believe about them, or if you hate them simply because you can. That said I have a question for you.

If Obama was white would it change your vote?

Think about it, and think about who's the better to be President, one you know and one you don't. Race isn't the issue. Character, experience, trust, honesty, integrity, and who will be there for you.

Mountain Lion & SMTP

After upgrading to Mountain Lion, one of my e-mail servers quit working on outgoing (SMTP) mail, saying it couldn't connect to the server. After some testing I found the solution on a forum which did work. In the outgoing server information which lists the servers and properties, set the one not working to "Custom" port and "25" as the port number, and not "Default" with the three listed ports.

It seems Mountain Lion changed something with Apple's mail where some SMTP servers won't work as before. Why it takes users to find the bug and solve the problem escapes me because it's an easy testable function that clearly the testing and debugging team failed.

And I can say that because I did this work for a number of years in data operations and management for the US Geological Survey. It's standard proceedure to test common things that worked to see they still work as before and expected.

For this Apple sucks on user friendliness to solve problems, but then after two updates to OS-X 10.8 there still are glitches which shouldn't be glitches. They were created than a result, which is why it sucks.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

What's Worse

What's worse than someone openly carrying a gun in public where there are many people, including families with children and even babies, like say during the Thanksgiving Day parade or Christmas shopping? How about a drunk with a gun.

The states that have passed laws allowing the open carry of firearms, including the state where I live, gave businesses the right to ban guns, except concealed with a permit, but few have opted to implement this policy in the conflict between people's right to carry and the customers' right to safety and security from people with guns.

In almost every case, the businesses allow out of fear than out of choice. They fear being ostracised by the gun lobby. Almost all states, however, ban people who are intoxicated from carrying a gun into  restaurants, bars or taverns and some ban all guns in those businesses.

But the owners of those businesses have expressed concerns with the obvious question, "Who's going to tell an obviously drunk person you can't come in this bar or tavern unless you put the gun in your car."

Why do people go to bars and taverns? To get drunk. Yeah, as was noted when the law was discussed here, how are you going to tell someone in a bar or tavern is drunk enough to take away their gun when they weren't when walked into the bar or tavern. And why is that the burden of the business?

What bothers me more about the gun rights advocates on this issue is that there isn't one law enforcement department or agency and not one law enforcement union which supports the open carry law, and especially the laws around guns in bars or taverns.

Why are we endangering the public with people with guns in public places and private businesses, and why are we putting law enforcement officer under pressue to discern when one of the people draws their gun for a reason?

How is a law enforcement officer going to tell if a person with a gun is a legal gun owner or a criminal, all in a matter of a few moments when the get to any scene where people have guns? This is the argument the law enforcement folks use, it's put them in the middle they don't need to be.

And when you add an intoxicated or drugged person with a gun, it's fair to say, it's easy for things to get ugly very quickly. Is it fair to make the rest of us accountable for the rights of someone, drunk or sober, with a gun to feel safe and secure?

When you see someone openly carrying a gun, do you really trust they know when and how to use it in the event of something where they decide to withdraw and possibly use it? Do you think they have the experience and training as a law enforcement officer to judge when it's appropriate to use a gun?

A total stranger with a gun? Why is it that they get the right to "feel safe" and we don't get to "feel safe"  when they have a gun? Who's the majority and who's rights are being trammpled?

It's the rights of the minority with a gun. And the rest of us pay the price of our lost rights at the point of a gun.

Dear Apple

Dear Apple,

Can users, me especially, make the decision to remove applications from their account in the Apple App Store? I have moved three applications to the company's Website because they dropped their products from the App Store and honored the receipt to provide it and updates or upgrades through their Website.

I don't need them anymore and it's dumb to hide them only to be told there is an update available through the App store which has long been superseded by the company's versions through their Website. I will never download the update nor want the application in my account.

Your practice of not giving users the right to remove applications only shows how dictatorial you can be as a company which prides itself for user-friendly computers, operating systems and applications. To prevent users from choosing to remove applications isn't good business.

So, please fix it so users can elect, knowing it can't be undone or they have to buy the application again, to remove applications from the App Store account. It's just common sense and user rights.

Women's Fashion

Obvious I'm no fashion expert by the longest shot imaginable, meaning I live is jeans or shorts and t-shirts with sweaters or pullovers sportswear. But I like to browse a variety of Websites just to see what's going on and Tumblr is great for that.

That said, it seems to me there are three types of women's fashion, clothes for doing, meaning things like sports, exercise, hiking, hanging out, etc., clothes for life, meaning work and living, and clothes for dressup, meaning the obvious parties and looking pretty.

This kinda' explains why women have so much clothes and so many things since society demands they have clothes for the last two types and women get to choose if they want clothes for the first type. Men have the luxury of overlapping their clothes through two type to reduce the size of their wardrobe.

When I'm out I look at people to see the diversity of how both men and women dress, and yes, there are a lot of women who merge the first two types out of convenience, and I have to say much to their chargrin when others look at them and go, "Huh?"

Yeah, sweats on men or women don't look good in public along with running/biking clothes. I was raised by parents who never left the house without being dressed for life in public. My Dad would always shower, shave and dress in clean clothes even if he was going to one store for the day.

I've dropped much of what they taught me about clothes in public except I still always take a shower, cleanup and put on clean clothes appropriate for public, which is most often just jeans (still Levis 501 after 40+ years) or short (love Gramicci shorts) and t-shirts with pullover something and a coat.

Anyway, this was just an observation. No wonder women are expected and forced by society to make clothes important in their presentation. We see the choices women make in public about that every day, all the while men don't have such pressure unless they choose, and many don't.

It Didn't Break

Well, I upgraded to Mountain Lion (OS-X 10.8.2) this afternoon, and it didn't break the installation and reboot. I have a few small issues with some applications and settings, but otherwise, it works, albeit differently with a few notes I've seen so far.

I hate I had to download it from the Apple App Store because it took over an hour to download it where I bought the USB stick version for Lion which loaded quickly.

It sandboxes all applications where some take a little longer to load because it conflicts with the new rules about applications working within their own space and not using other applications.

This is important if an application accesses, uses or load other application. OS-X won't let you anymore, or at least only in a very restricted manner, such with QuickTime.

Apple's software update method through the App Store now sucks. I liked the old update tool through it's own window separate from the App store. I hate this new way because I've moved three apps off the App Store but you can't remove them from the App store and they all say I need to update them, even though the App Store version is long out of date and obsolete.

So here's my answer to Apple on this.

Let users remove applications from the App store!

As for other stuff, I removed or turned off all the notificatioins because I have third-party applications which do the same thing and better. I don't need Apple telling me too. I haven't checked out the various uses of Facebook and Twitter in applications, like Safari, because I use them from other applications.

I haven't tested all the Adobe applictions because I have a lot of them from Creative Suite (CS) Web Premium 3 through 6 with other CS applications. I lost CS 3 with Lion but had all the rest and the same seems to be the case with Mountain Lion, but some Websites indicate some CS5 and CS6 has minor to some problems. I'm happy Go Live 9 works (my favorite Web design application).

Safari is faster loading, but Apple did one thing many people, like me, hate. Apple removed Java from Safari and all browsers. Now you have to download it from Oracle, found here. I miss the old activity window which is still gone under Safari 6.

Mail has some new stuff. The new Calendar size is too big for me and you can't adjust it smaller, which sucks. I don't need big. I don't like the light for the dock bar when an application is open. I like the old light.

I haven't turned on the backups yet. I need to reformat the Time Machine now because it won't access any Lion backups and is wasted space. I have one OS-X 10.7.5 clone and a complete backup of all four HD's, which I'll turn on later.

I'll add to this post as I find stuff that breaks, goes beserk or I don't like.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Real Light Bulbs Please

After the last few years of using the new CFL light bulbs I have replaced them in the bathroom sink and overhead lights with old fashioned regular light bulbs. When these bulbs first went on the market the local utility sent every home two boxes of them.

I replaced all the incandescent bulbs in the house with these, but shortly into the first year, despite the longlife of years promised for these bulbs, they began to fail, about one every 2-3 months. This is especially true of the smaller 13W bulbs where all four have been replaced in each of the two bathroom sink lights every years

And trying to find the same brand and model with produces the same light is exasperating as stores manufacturers keep changing the light characteristics of their bulbs and stores stop carrying the older model bulbs.

So I either buy four new bulbs to get the consistent light or live with different light bulbs. And if you've bought these bulbs you know they're not cheap, especially compared to old fashioned incandescent bulbs. You can buy quite a few regular bulbs for the price of one CFL bulb.

Add to that they take a few minutes to get up to full strength, the cost of them for the false claim of longlife, and the expensive production costs and materials, especially the use of toxic metal (mercury), CFL bulbs are a waste of money.

A regular incandescent bulbs are cheaper, less enviromentally dangers to produce and discard or recycle, and while they aren't cheaper to use, the overall costs is still the same if not lower over the years, but most of all there is one advantage to these bulbs.

They are brighter!

So now I'm back to the old fashioned bulbs where it counts and all the rest in the house are still CFL light bulbs. I'll give Edison is due in the bathroom lights where he's proven to me to be better, still after a century.

The Who

You know The Who the rock band. They had a song "We Won't Get Fooled Again." Well, with Mitt Romney's move to the center this week, dropping his extreme rhetorical attacks on President Obama, to almost agreeing the the President on many issues, just like the last debate, we should take heed of The Who and the lines in their song.

We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again

Don't think about what he's saying now, it's only to appease voters and pander to the remaining independents who haven't decided, they 3-5%, and to appeal to the moderates in the Republican party to be less reticent about him and his views.

The truth is nothing behind him has changed. Nothing inside him has changed. Only his words which we know he throws out just to say something without thinking of it or its effect or impact.

It doesn't change the lies he's told to Ohio voters about Jeep and GM which were refuted shortly after he said them and the ads were aired on TV and radio. Who do you believe Romney or the CEO of the companies?

So, don't get fooled again by Romney, that's all he trying to do, just win your vote and afterward you're a forgotten memory. That's his philosophy with words, fire and forget, and it's his philosophy with people, like the 47%'ers and more so the 99%'ers, like all of us.

Natural Disasters

You now seen the federal government's response through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for two of the most recent largest natural disaster this country has faced, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Sandy in 2012, the former under President Bush and this one under President Obama.

You know republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has advocated and even said he would propose as president to get rid of FEMA. You know the Republicans' view on the federal government helping states in times preparing for, experiencing and cleaning up after natural disasters, meaning either you're on your own or let the marketplace govern the solutions.

So let me ask you, do you really think Mitt Romney would be the better president for the worst time our country has experiened, is experiencing now, and will experience with future natural disaster?

Who do you want as president when we face the worst disasters imaginable?

Who do you want as president when it's time to act to help everyone prepare, survive and rebuild their lives and property after a natural disaster?

Who do you want knowing he will not back away from everyone's government, our government, ensuring all of us will be taken care of?

Think about what you're seeing under President Obama and compare that to what you saw under President Bush. Then think about what Romney has said and believes about the federal government's role in natural disasters.

Is it really such a hard choice now as who should be president?

Don't Try

Don't try to hide access to an image on your blog, Website, photo gallery, etc., simply because you can't hide it. Even the best of the photography or image Websites for photographers can only disguise the pathname to the image where it takes time to sift through the layers of code to find the image.

As a test once someone with a Smugmug account said his images were impossible to download. It took me just over an hour through three scripts to find the server name, pathname and image file to download it. I sent one of the images to him with the note, "Is this the image you're protecting?"

I see this a lot with Websites like Tumblr, Flckr, etc. where you right click and either it won't allow you to open the image in a new tab or window or popup a window it's a copyright image and can't be downloaded. Sorry it can.

This is because all images on Web pages must be a single filename to display the image. Even attempts to slice the photo (called image slicing) must reassemble the image into a single file for the Web page where you can find it.

This is also because you can simply read the code for the filename and search for "jpg", "png", or "gif" since all image files must be one of those formats, except ".gif" files are usually animation files instead of one image.

Anyway, I'm only a novice compared to others, which is the point, if you put it on the Internet, people can and will download it, so don't try to hide or disguise the filename for it. Just let them right click and be done.